The region of Okayama in South West Japan is such a feast for the senses its hard to summarise in a journal entry. If you have never come across Okayama I really recommend you google "Okayama Denim" and read some of the comprehensive guides written by people paying homage to the denim capital of the world. It was denim, or textiles in general, which brought me to Okayama and led to some amazing finds, and I wanted to share some highlights of the trip.
Balance Okayama acts as a flagship for cult denim label Anachronorm as well as a workshop where founder Tanushi Tomoki restores Japanese roadsters. Unlike most of the denim landmarks Balance is located in Okayama City an a quiet, industrial backstreet. The shop showcases interesting local brands as well as a large selection from from their own denim label which is all made in the Okayama area. It was here we first came across Pras, the footwear label which sits under the Anachronorm umbrella.
The small island of Naoshima, once dominated by industrial mining, is now a mecca of modern art. It's hard to describe. Imagine asking Tadao Ando and countless other architects and artists to make a sleepy little fishing island their canvas and that's what Naoshima is. It has to be seen to be believed. Naoshima cannot be seen properly in a day but there is plenty of accommodation on the island.